Long time, no Fiction Fridays! I've been neglecting this feature for entirely too long, which is lamentable, considering that it's one of my favorites to do on the blog.

This week's pick is a piece called "Five Fairytales About the End of the World", written by Chloe N. Clark. I'm just going to let that title sit in your head for a bit.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

The story was published in an online literary magazine called Gingerbread House, which publishes magical poetry and fiction. The magazine tells its submitters to "Take your fairy tale and twist it. Bend your fantasy to suit your needs. Be original and fresh, loose and lovely." And those are some pretty fabulous submission guidelines, if you ask me. I'm looking forward to reading more of Gingerbread House now that I've discovered it, and I advise you all to take a look into its archives as well!

I love this piece because it's composed of dark, magical vignettes that really give an impending sense of doom without being too forceful about it. It's absolutely exquisite, and chilling in the best sort of way. The writing is fluid and lovely and really controlled, elegant without being overdone. And the ending is perfection.

Here's my favorite sentence in the whole piece, just to give you an idea:
Death’s voice was boats breaking up in the middle of the sea and buildings crumbling in wartime and ice that cracks too soon.
But don't just let me tell you about it; see for yourself! The full story is available to read here.

(NOTE: It's Alyssa's birthday today! Go give her some virtual cake. Meanwhile, I'll be helping celebrate the birthday of one of my family members, which is also today.)
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So Alyssa (I don't even need to tell you which Alyssa, come on) has once again taken note of my love for posts with questions and has tagged me for the Epic Reads Tag! Give her a round of applause for her wisdom, everyone, and off we go...

1. If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

I would invite Maggie Stiefvater and Richard Campbell Gansey III. Because reasons. I would then spend the entire time trying to hypnotize Maggie into keeping Gansey alive (very discreetly so Gansey wouldn't notice) and getting very very flustered in front of Gansey because I have a huge crush on him.

(Although of course he and Blue belong together and that is that.)

I'd serve yogurt to Gansey and be delighted by his confusion, and I'd serve Maggie caffeine so she can hurry up and give me The Raven King instead of making me wait until, like, September.

(I'm only half kidding about that last bit.)

2. What book do you wish the author would write the prequel for?

GRISHA TRILOGY PREQUEL PLEASE. (I need to know about the Darkling's early life.) But I'd also love an Infernal Devices prequel about Will Herondale's parents.

3. Which two characters (NOT from the same book) do you think would make a good couple?

Zoya Nazyalensky from the Grisha trilogy and Storm from the Fire and Thorns trilogy. They're both very caustic people with hearts of gold and minds of steel. (I mean, they could end up destroying each other, but they could also end up destroying everyone else. Together. Who knows?)

4. If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and only could say one sentence to them who is it and what would it be?

What do you mean, CHOOSE ONE FAVORITE AUTHOR? I refuse. I'd probably end up saying something completely off-my-rocker like "OMG PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR BRAIN" and that'd be the one thing that the author would remember me by for the rest of their life.

5. What book made you a reader and why?

I have to respond to this question with another question: does anyone actually remember this? I'm not totally sure myself, but I had... interesting preferences when I was younger. It was probably some combination of Magic Tree House and picture books about Disney princesses and an odd fantasy series about a world called Droon. (My book taste has obviously come a long way since then.)

6. Incendio! Your bookshelf just caught fire! What is the one book you would save?

THIS IS THE MOST DIABOLICAL QUESTION I'VE EVER LAID EYES ON. Nonetheless, if I had to choose one, I'd probably end up saving my hardback copy of The Diviners by Libba Bray, because the original edition is really pretty, unlike the newer and horribly garish paperback, and isn't really around anymore. Or I'd save my extremely thick, beautiful bindup of seven of Jane Austen's novels.

7. Which dystopian world would you want to live in and why?

Okay, so the entire reason why worlds are dystopian is because they are TERRIBLE to live in. 100% horrible. But if I had to choose one... it'd probably be the world of The Selection because apparently the biggest problems in that world are who gets to wear which dress. Sounds pretty un-dystopian to me, but I'll take it.

8. What is your most Epic Read of all time?

Oh, the cruelty.

Okay, that's it, I seriously can't answer this. DO NOT MAKE ME.

I tag:

Anyone who'd like to do this! I've done several other tags in the past, so I don't want to get annoying with tagging the same people over and over again, but if anyone would like to do this, feel free to! Consider yourself tagged.

What do you consider your "epic reads"? Do we have similar tastes? Sound off in the comments!

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I'm so excited to announce that another one of my stories is forthcoming in a literary magazine!

Quail Bell Magazine has accepted my piece "Vixen" for publication, and I'm thrilled to be able to share this utterly weird short story with you all. This is a magazine that's run and read by self-described "fairy punks", which is one of the greatest labels I've ever seen.

"Vixen" was originally written for—believe it or not—a school assignment. We were told to write stories with such-and-such elements as part of our gothic literature unit, and being the eccentric, curriculum-hating student I am, I decided that I wanted to subvert the 'traditional' gothic mold that our teacher intended for us.

Enter the strange but awfully cool notion of the Asian gothic aesthetic. Think about it: don't other cultures have just as much room for the macabre and spectral? Just let the idea simmer in your head; it gets pretty darn awesome.

Specifically, I wanted to work with Korean gothic.

I started playing around with this straightaway, and before long I'd come up with a spooky little tale about a kumiho (a Korean nine-tailed fox), a girl, and the village they prey on. It's basically my exploration of the boundary between girl and monster, and whether that boundary can start to blur and warp until it's barely there at all.

(One of my favorite subjects to write about, if you haven't all noticed already.)

Anyway, please do keep an eye out for the piece, and I hope you enjoy it! Happy reading.
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...or, my miserable attempt at giving this blog hop post a nice title.

I'm all about helping out fellow bloggers I love, and one way of doing that is spreading the word when they switch sites and make an important move! You may remember I did a similar post for Cait when she moved to the epicawesome Paper Fury a little while back.

This time, I'm helping Emily (who previously blogged at The Loony Teen Writer) celebrate the launch of her new site, Loony Literate. Emily's a wonderful, enthusiastic Aussie teen blogger who talks books, writing, and everything in between, and I highly encourage you to go give her some love. It'll be more than worth it.

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what is this #litlove thing?

It's a collaborative post series that debuted two months ago, featuring myself and four other lovely writer/bloggers:

(So all together, you can call us CATAT, or CAATT, or—my personal favorite—ATTAC.)

Basically, this series is our chance to spout our love for the written word in all its forms, and it happens once every two months. It was born from a feverish Twitter fangirling session (as so many good things are) and then put into action. We've got a veritable army of ideas cooking, and we plan to spotlight everything from authors to tropes in the future. 

The original kick-off was our feature on brilliant middle-grade author Kate DiCamillo, in which I talked everyone's ears off about Because of Winn-Dixie

This time around, we're all featuring our shared love of Roald Dahl!

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For this week's Music Monday, I'm hitting two birds with one stone and completing the Lyric Medley Tag on my Monday feature—for which I was tagged by Alyssa (I'm obviously running out of laudatory adjectives to describe her). 

Anyway, into the mess that is my music taste!

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